ASU startup PetSitNStay helps you find a sitter for your ferret
Have you ever had to look for a babysitter for your dog? Or what about your snake or your ferret? Who would you trust to watch a furry member of your family? Startup PetSitNStay aims to help you find that solution the next time you want to jet out of town.
Created by Arizona State University recent grads CEO Paige Corbett and CTO Aaron Grove, PetSitNStay is an online platform that easily matches pet owners with reliable sitters in the greater Phoenix area. The service caters to dogs and cats, but also extends to fish, reptiles and other small critters. Also, pet lovers can sign up to be a sitter, and they can set their own rates.
The team started PetSitNStay with ASU’s Great Little Companies (GLC) Network, which offers support to entrepreneurial endeavors, and launched their services in April. Corbett tells AZTB that they have been growing at a fast pace.
In fact, pet sitters from Tucson and Flagstaff to the Valley are already on board. Corbett sees the largest boost of pet sitters coming from Tempe, most likely because college students are attracted by the incentive to make some extra cash.
PetSitnNStay is looking to expand to other cities like Los Angeles, Austin and San Francisco, but they might have some competition with the similar website DogVacay.com. The team said they will have more services and features rolling out in the near future that will set them apart. Most importantly, their competition only offers services for dogs.
“It’s hard to find a snake sitter, ya know?” Grove joked.
Benefits to PetSitNStay’s service extend beyond the dislike of the kennel scene-it can affect the pets’ health as well.
Corbett and Grove always noticed a change in their pet’s behavior when bringing their pet home from the kennel, but when Corbett worked at a boarding facility a few summers ago, she realized why.
“The barking, the loud noises, the unfamiliarity, I think it’s very stressful on them,” she said of how the environment can affect the dogs. “Just specifically what I’ve seen, dogs wouldn’t even eat there once their owners left. And they would end up throwing up bile because they would just not eat anything.”
The true value the team sees in PetSitNStay is that it offers individualized attention to each pet. Under their program, sitters can only board up to three pets at a time, and they can watch your pet at their home or yours.
“Every pet is different. Every pet has a different feeding schedule, or a different routine with their animal. I think it’s important when [owners] go out of town to really keep that routine going and keep that consistent so the animal is not thrown off,” said Grove.
The team understands this concern, especially with the recent misfortune in Gilbert back in June where 21 dogs eventually died at a boarding kennel while the business owners were away overnight. While the cause is still under investigation, pet owners are now on high alert more than ever about the safety of their pets.
Corbett said that they are offering all the tools users need before boarding their pet with anybody on the network to ensure that safety, including pet insurance, sitter profiles with Yelp-like ratings, meet and greet sessions to see how the sitter interacts with their pet.
Corbet and Grove don’t want to see any ratings fall below three stars, and are open to even taking someone off the network if their reviews are not up to standard.
“If someone had a bad experience, that raises a red flag for us, and if they’re having negative reviews then nobody is going to use them and that looks bad on us,” said Corbett. “We wouldn’t want to have people that we wouldn’t sit our own pets with.”
Graphics and photos provided by PetSitNStay.